5 Years Later …….

I can hardly believe that our angels have been gone for over 5 years.  I still have days where the true reality of all of it still hasn’t settled in. When we hit 5 years this past November 4th I felt a new kind of sadness and emptiness.  Time makes[…]

A Friend Loves at All Times ……

I am asked often and frequently for advice about grieving. I hate this and I love it.  I hate that other mothers are in the same club that I am in, and I hate that I have first hand knowledge of this horrifying pain. However,  I love that I can[…]

The Truck

4 years 2 mos without you……. I promised myself, and Skylar, that I would never make “this” about how she died, but rather I would focus on how she lived.  She was an amazing soul, a beautiful young woman, and someone that I was proud to call my daughter. At[…]

Give them wings …..

  12/2/15 – 3 years, 28 days since you gained your wings. I came across this image the other day and it amazed me what the true meaning of the sign is versus how I took the meaning to be. Skylar was on the cusp of adulthood and all too[…]

For the strong ones….

  Grief is a surreal feeling, hardly even possible to define. Grief for a sudden and tragic death is life shattering. Grief for your child is a mind blowing excruciating pain….without end. With every step I take and with every breath I breathe, I feel the loss and carry the[…]

Finding the courage to soldier on

    Long over due blog post…..I’ve missed sharing with you all. So much has happened since I last wrote…..continued twists and turns through this cruel life. We lost another one of Skylar’s friends to a sad and horrific tragedy last month. The call I received the morning of his death[…]

The Last Ride

My heart has been heavy these past few weeks thinking of the girls last day on this earth. Many times the thoughts that flood my mind are not something I can control; but I am learning that most of these images are part of the grieving process and in order[…]


  REFLECTION:  noun  1. the act of reflecting, as in casting back a light or heat, mirroring, or giving back or showing an image; the state of being reflected in this way.  2. an image; representation; counterpart.  3. a fixing of the thoughts on something; careful consideration.  4. a thought occurring in consideration or meditation.  5. an unfavorable remark or observation.  6. the casting of some imputation or reproach. It has been some time since I have written, and for good reason. I have spent the last several weeks reflecting. Thinking A LOT about Skylar, about what I taught her while I had her,[…]

Silent Tears

I wish 2 years later that I could tell the new grieving parents out there, that my pain has lessened. I wish I could tell them that my tears have stopped. I wish I could tell them that my anger has subdued. I wish I could tell them that it[…]

Fighting through the hell

What a hell of a ride it has been. I look back over the last 22 months and I am in awe at how far I’ve come, yet how stagnant I’ve become. I feel I need to speak directly to those struggling parents out there or to those that are[…]


  Hold on, to me as we go As we roll down this unfamiliar road And although this wave is stringing us along Just know you’re not alone Cause I’m going to make this place your home Settle down, it’ll all be clear Don’t pay no mind to the demons[…]

Finding My Way

                                               Writer’s block…..I feel like I’ve had it for several weeks now.  I have so much in my head and so many feelings to share but the words[…]

His Plan is Greater than My Plan

  I can’t tell you how many times I have referred to this verse when my grief has paralyzed my body. I cling to His promise and pray for divine understanding.  I’ve taken a few weeks off from writing, because in all honestly I had nothing positive to write. That[…]

Grief is as individual as a snowflake

  Well I made it out of the month of May….the month that stood to test every emotion in my soul. I’m exhausted and broken, but I’m here. Thank you for the love, prayers and support. I love this photo above of Tate, Sky, Joe & Alana. It shows what[…]

Graduation Day

          Wow, wow, wow what an emotional roller coaster this month has been, and it’s not over yet. To say that May 2014 is one of the most difficult months of my life is an understatement.  Prayers please for May 30th, as we attend the sentencing[…]


  I’ve posted this picture because Skylar and Dina have been friends since they were 5 years old…..in 10 days Dina will walk across the stage and accept her High School Diploma, Skylar will not.  This is weighing so heavily on my heart  this month. I’m trying so hard to[…]

The Empty Chair

  May 24, 2014….Graduation Day. A day Skylar had dreamed of for years, the day every high schooler longs for……freedom, that first jaunt into adulthood. Today I received the call I’d been dreading, graduation specifics. I can not even begin to tell you how much my heart crumbled after I[…]

Dear Media

  Dear Media, You have managed yet again to break this mother’s heart. I realize that even after 17 mos we are in the spotlight again due to the states case against the driver. I can appreciate that this is newsworthy and that the public is intrigued and definitely weighs[…]

Happy 18th Birthday Sweet Angel

  I’m a few days late on this, I apologize. Skylar would have turned 18 on Tuesday March 25th. Something about your baby’s birthday just makes the pain multiply. Knowing the 25th marked the day that she breathed her first breath and the day I fell in love.  March has[…]


  What I wouldn’t give to re-live this day pictured above…what I wouldn’t give….. I didn’t think I was going to write again until Sky’s birthday. This month has been emotional for several reasons and I just didn’t have it in me to share publicly. However, sometimes God has different[…]

Love Will Lead the Way

  Lexy is just days away from her 16th birthday and duplicating this very same photo that I took of Sky just 2 years ago. What a bittersweet feeling for me. I am so happy and proud of my Lexy Lou-Lou and of course scared as well; but also so[…]

Faith. Hope. Love.

  Anyone who knows me, knows how much I miss her beautiful eyes…..just one reason I love this picture of her so much. I’ve prayed hard the last several days that God would give me words for my blog this week. I can certainly sit here for hours and just[…]

A New Normal

A fellow grieving mother shared this article with me. It touched home and explained my journey so perfectly that I wanted to share it with my readers. I hope you read it and re-read it. God Bless _________________________________________________ A New Normal: Ten Things I’ve Learned About Trauma by Catherine Woodiwiss  I[…]

My Dearest Sky-Bird

  Baby girl where do I even begin? It has been quite some time since I’ve written an open letter to you. I have been relatively quiet on here for the last several weeks; mainly trying to get through the holidays and the heartache that now accompanies this time of[…]


  August 2001, Skylar (5 yrs old) and I went to the mall for a pair of jeans. We were easily sidetracked into the local pet store. Skylar asked if we could get one of the puppies out to hold and I of course said yes!  We chose a cute[…]


  It wasn’t until recently that I truly recognized “triggers” in my daily life…..things, events, words, smells , songs, memories….that initiate feelings and reactions in me.  These triggers are without warning and virtually impossible to predict or control. Last week while talking to a stranger about Christmas and the money[…]

My Heart and Soul

  They say there are 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance…..with of course the depression stage lasting the longest. Certainly not a list that is hard to figure out or even shocking. However, when talking in terms of losing your child….your perfect beautiful child who had[…]

If Today Was Your Last Day

  I received a piece of mail for Skylar yesterday and at first didn’t think a whole lot about it, until I opened it. Here is how the first line read: Dear Skylar L. Kooken,  Life after high school. It’s approaching fast. And the burning question is: Where will you[…]

372 Days Without You

  By the grace of God I have survived the first year without my oldest baby. A year filled with valleys like I have never known, a year filled with enough tears to fill an ocean, a year filled with enough questions and anger to last a lifetime, a year[…]

I Will Remember ……..

  It seemed fitting to post my text with Skylar from one year ago today….this pretty much sums us up, anything goes. (and yes, I called her out and let her go home….of course, she held my heart in her hands, always). ___________________________________________________________________ I was hoping that my anger had[…]

Love One Another

It’s amazing the roller coaster of emotions I have been on for the past 11 plus months and the past 5 days have been no exception. Just when I think I have dealt with enough cruel and insensitive people, more seem to surface. I’m not really sure what part of […]

3 Little Birds for Company

Wow……11 mos has come and gone. I’m on the home stretch to 1 year……..a time where the shock has worn off and the pain is more raw and real than ever before. Above is a bench at our local park for these angels…it was just put in this week and[…]

A Grieving Mother

  I honestly don’t even know where my head is today. I have so much going on inside this brain of mine that it’s likely to explode at any moment. I spent some time earlier this week holding my baby’s clothes from the night of the accident….therapeutic for me at[…]

Extra Time

  When Skylar was 2 1/2 years old she complained for a few days of severe stomach pain. As a small child it was hard to tell if she was constipated, ate something bad or just simply had a stomach virus. After a few days we decided it had to[…]


  I could literally look at photos and videos of the girls all day long…. these images above of Sky & Soph warm my heart; this was them in all their innocence and glory…best buds out to make you laugh and smile. September 4, 2013…….10 LONG months without the presence[…]


Whoa what an emotional week I have had.  Wednesday was the first day of school for my kids and what SHOULD have been Skylar’s first day of her Senior year….ahhh the year she’d been dreaming of for so long.  I have been waking Sky up and sending her off to[…]


I thought I had some clear thoughts to write out today and then I turned on Sky’s iPhone and sifted through her “Notes” section, which I had never done before. There were sweet messages from Sophie telling Sky that she loved her and other friends messages as well. Sky had[…]

Living Amidst the Grief

  In the past 9 months  I have heard every bit of advice that I am sure a person can hear when dealing with the death of a child…..most of it is useless, although said with good intentions and mostly with love, still pointless. I saw the quote above and[…]

Dear Skybird,

^^^^^^^ My goofy girl^^^^^^^…. anything for a laugh!!! Dear child where do I even begin? I find myself writing all of these blog posts in order to update others and to even relieve myself of some of my pain and thoughts….when in reality all I want is to talk to[…]

Until I See You Again

  In honor of social media’s “Throwback Thursday” I had to post this pic of my girls and the love and bond they have for one another. Here we all sit 8 months later….wounds are just as painful and the sadness hasn’t waned but I’m here and I’m breathing and[…]


It’s been awhile since I felt I could post on here. As typical I’ve had some good days and some bad…this month has seemed to have gotten the better of me thus far. I think with graduation, all of the grad parties for Sky’s friends and the start of summer, […]


Death is a strange thing. I thought I always understood it. I mean I’ve lost loved ones before and I’ve grieved for friends and family and even complete strangers who have lost someone close to them, especially unexpectedly,  but until I walked along this sad and lonely and confusing path[…]

“I’ll wait for you…”

  I have no big revelation this week or even any great words of wisdom …. but I do feel like sharing my feelings with you all today. Last Saturday was graduation for the class of 2013….what a day that was! After coming off the depressing low of Wednesday (scholarship[…]

The Fall

Yesterday probably marked the hardest day without Sky since the day of her burial. We presented 6 graduating seniors with Skylar’s scholarship awards. To say that I was exhausted at the end of the ceremony is an understatement. I left there feeling like I had just run a marathon.  Sitting[…]

Wake up and Live!

Here I sit yet again in total disbelief that this is the life  I was handed. Completely beside myself in utter awe that I have a child that I visit at a cemetery. In 2 days we will hit the 6 month mark of the day this earth lost 3[…]

Before and After

It’s weird how your mind associates and processes events. I am currently in a place where I refer to everything (either outwardly or internally) as “before Sky died and after Sky died”.  I can look at a simple photograph (not even of my children) and know that was just days[…]

5 long months without you

I post this picture and blog today with a heavy and sad heart…… there is something very wrong with posting an image from a family vacation and Skylar is not in it.  Last week we enjoyed a bittersweet Spring Break in Ft. Myers where every single day the absence of[…]

Walk by Faith, Not by Sight

I saw this image online and I immediately thought of Skylar and the girls. I’ve stayed off my blog for a few weeks (which I missed terribly) as I had much reflecting to do. I don’t always feel that I can offer much light in the midst of this darkness[…]

4 Months Without You

It’s not that any day is harder or easier than the next and the marking of an “anniversary” certainly doesn’t take away the pain from every other non-anniversary day; for every day without these girls is hell within itself. However, the 4th of each month is forever doomed for me[…]

Treasures Left Behind

It’s been awhile since I’ve felt the need to get on here and share. There have been a lot of changes in my life in the last several weeks…..and I’m still trying to sort through all of those, as well as try to keep my focus on my healing and[…]


All I want to do is close my eyes I don’t want to open them again Till I’m standing on the other side I don’t even want to be right now I don’t want to think another thought I don’t want to feel this pain I feel Right now pain[…]

Dear Skylar,

I look for your face In all that I do I can feel you close Can you feel me too? This path I am on Is not for the weak God is holding my hand While your touch is all I seek I am clinging tight To all that I[…]

3 months without you

I’m certainly trying to gather courage and inspiration from God’s word…… sometimes I just want to tell God that He expects a lot from us! I look at the verse above and I think, “God, how am I suppose be strong and courageous? Easy for you to say, you’re God!” […]

For Sophie

You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Psalm 32:7 ________________________________________________________________ I saw this image on a Christian site the other day and I knew it was meant for me to see and to post. On this, the eve of[…]

The Club

  I posted the following to my Facebook page last week: I’m in this “club” that I didn’t ask to be in. It has many members…way too many, there should be a maximum occupancy set for this club but there’s not, instead members just keep showing up, unannounced and unexpected.[…]

Power of Prayer

  This is one of my favorite pictures of Skylar…taken just weeks before the accident. ___________________________________________________________________________________________ I have been fairly quiet lately and I apologize for that. I keep waiting for my days to get easier but instead they are filled with more memories of Skylar, if that is even[…]


I hate that I know the number of days without my precious Sky….72 and counting. The last week has been different, almost numbing. I have felt a  great sense of peace over me but at the same time I feel numb inside and as if there is a dam ready[…]

God IS in control

I look at this photo of Sky and my heart skips a beat. I remember how excited she was on this day!  She even let me take several photos (which she never did). How bittersweet this is…….as excited as she was, I of course was a nervous wreck and worried[…]

2 months without you

This photo encompasses my Sky-bird perfectly. Goofy, joyful and forever making her friends and others laugh. 2 months ago today I lost a chunk of my heart that will never heal or be replaced. I simply can’t believe that when I wake each morning that you will not be there. […]

Make it count!

  The start of a brand new year is typically ushered in with celebrations, hopes, dreams, resolutions and goals for the upcoming year ahead. Mine as you can well imagine, was brought in with an enormous mound of grief and sadness. I thought a lot about the years past and[…]

Nothing Gold Can Stay

    Nature’s first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf’s a flower; But only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf. So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay. By Robert Frost ____________________________________________________________________________ Skylar loved the movie[…]

Christmas with my angel

  “Fear not for I am with you; be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you.” Isaiah 41:10 Boy did I need this verse today. Every day is torturous without Skylar, and I was prepared for today to not be any different. I was wrong. Today[…]

Merry Christmas Girls….

  I’ve sat down a few times within the last few days to write in my blog and I just couldn’t find the words. I had a pretty rough weekend with my sadness and pain, it’s strange how there are moments of peace, and life seems “ok” if only for[…]


I I sat down in these wee hours thinking I was going to write about one thing and as I sat here and let my thoughts sort themselves out, I learned real quick that God was pushing me in a different direction. I’ve read a lot on forgiveness lately and[…]

and the greatest of these is Love…..

_____________________________________________________________________________ walk by Faith…..have Hope always…Love others I wasn’t going to post anything this evening ( I suppose it’s early morning now) but I sat down at my computer, I pulled this verse out of a prayer jar that some friends made for me. This is one of my most[…]

To my Skylar,

My sweet Sky, it’s been another one of those days. Today I have been haunted by the men who came to our door on the morning you died…….I can’t get the things they said to me out of my head. I can’t quit thinking about how I felt when I[…]

We need you God

“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.”  2 Corinthians 4:8-9 I have had such a wave of emotions today that I don’t even know where to begin. My day began as usual, with thoughts of Skylar[…]


2 Corinthians 4:16-18 –  Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what[…]

One Step at a Time

I read an interesting article last night that a friend recommended to me titled “When a Child Dies”.  Much of the article mentioned things I’ve read before but there were a few points that hit home for me. The author talks of tears being like balm to the grieving heart.[…]


Wow! As I type this I am shaking. When I was writing my earlier post I was talking to Skylar and begging her for a sign. It’s not something I would typically type and tell you all about as I like to keep my talks with Skylar to myself, even[…]

How do I say goodbye?

I’ve had so many thoughts in the last few days on how I say goodbye to my firstborn child. I know it’s not truly goodbye, but in this lifetime it is.  How do I say goodbye to a child that wasn’t sick, wasn’t suffering and who had so much more[…]

In my arms where you belong

  I feel I am failing all of you as I have no strength to share lately. 36 days later and I am in a darker place now than ever before.  Today has been an incredibly difficult day and the feeling of emptiness for my Sky-bird has overcome me with[…]

3 Crosses

Well my sweet child, we placed 3 crosses for 3 beautiful girls today at the crash site. I’m so happy  there is a daily reminder to everyone that passes, just how short and precious life is……I just wish it wasn’t my baby girl (and Soph and Juls) that had to[…]

Prayers for my Alexyss Raine

I sat down this evening….or I guess it is now morning…..thinking I was going to write about how bittersweet my day was Christmas shopping , knowing there were no gifts to be bought for Skylar this year; no long list from her of books and movies she wanted and shoes[…]

My Worst Nightmare

On November 1st, just 3 short days before the accident that claimed the life of not only my sweet Skylar, but also 2 other angels…..Sky and I discussed my fears via text, which we often did.  Skylar was indeed wearing her seat belt on the night that she died, but[…]

31 days without you

  The stockings are hung  By the chimney with care In hopes that when I wake You will be there. Words are inadequate today. My heart is so full of pain and sadness. I fear I will never be whole again. I fear Lexy, Caden and Ashton will suffer….they have[…]

3 Angels

  The image above represents our new reality. Today I’m at a place where I don’t know whether to rejoice that these 3 beautiful girls are with their heavenly Father and enjoying eternity…..or to scream with madness that they were ripped away from us way too soon; never to turn[…]

A Mother’s Love

I’ve been reading some on grief and trying to understand the stages that everyone speaks of. I’m learning that losing a child to something such as a car accident (unanticipated death) has affects such as PTSD; and the death notification plays into that as well.  I never would have thought[…]

Christmas with Jesus

For the first time since you were born I put up my Christmas tree without any help from you.. even last year as a busy teenager you took time out of your evening and helped me hang ornaments. This year Joy and Alana and I worked on the tree (while[…]

Dear Skylar,

Skylar, my heart is crying out for you. Dad and I went and picked out your headstone this afternoon and I left there with a knot in my stomach that will not go away. I am once again angry that I am making decisions like this!  I miss you so[…]

My Angel

26 days without you…..I believe it is getting harder rather than easier. I think in cases such as these, time does NOT heal….time without you simply makes me ache for you more (as if that is even possible). I’ve thought a lot lately about the things people ask and say[…]

Lessons from a 16 year old

Well today started out as a doozy for me. My alarm sounded at 6:05am to wake up Lexy for school and instantly my heart began racing and my mind was begging me not to start another day. Typically it’s at this hour that we would hear Skylar’s heavy footsteps running[…]

One Day at a Time

I’m sitting here this afternoon feeling at a loss for words. I have so many thoughts and feelings that run through my mind continually,  but when I sat to type today,  I have one thought that just keeps coming to the surface. November 4, 2012 was not the day that[…]

Signs from above

Many of you have followed my posts on FB, I apologize now if you have to re-read some of the same. I will probably re-post many of my FB messages, as they help to tell this story somewhat. This photo attached was taken at the cemetery 11/26/12 while I laid[…]